Williams Inn, a new, $32 million hotel, will open this week

The new Williams Inn has fewer guest rooms than the former building — 64 compared to 125 — but a larger staff. Business owners believe the new inn will attract more people to the restaurant/bar, The Barn, and event space.

WILLIAMSTOWN — It's just about time.

With the former Williams Inn having closed July 31, the new Williams Inn is set to open Thursday with fewer rooms and more amenities, including brilliant views of Spring Street and the surrounding hills.

Since the closing, hotel crews have been training hard on new protocols and computer operations, and figuring out how the workflow will function best.

After more than a year of work, the $32 million steel-and-concrete structure stands three stories tall, with about 58,000 square feet of interior space.

Kevin Hurley recently was named the new general manager by the

Waterford Hotel Group, a hotel management firm that has been contracted by the Inn's owner, Williams College, to operate the business.

With fewer guest rooms at the new facility — 125 at the old inn; 64 at the new one — officials expect to have a larger workforce because they expect to see more business at the restaurant/bar — The Barn — and more parties in the event space.

The banquet hall can seat 150 with the dance floor. Without the dance floor, it can seat 250. The restaurant/lounge can seat 50 at tables and an additional 10 at the bar. There is further seating on the patio outside the restaurant and the banquet hall.

Since almost all of the furnishings are new and already in place, except for a few assorted office pieces, there is not much to move from the old site to the new one.

The rooms are equipped with 65-inch flat-screen televisions, and each room sports an assortment of energy-saving technology.

Work on the inn, which coincided with culvert installation and other construction in the surrounding neighborhoods, was somewhat disruptive to traffic patterns and pedestrian access at times, but the neighborhood is relieved to see things getting back to normal with a new feature, and potential for more foot traffic, at the base of Spring Street.

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or 413-629-4517.